Marvel’s Miraculous Effects: Dr. Strange

Crippled, broken, and distraught, after a terrible car accident, surgeon Stephen Strange searches for methods to help him repair his life and body. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) discovers that there are no conventional means to heal himself, and instead seeks salvation at the sanctuary of mystical arts, in Kathmandu. There, he undergoes training to heal his physical afflictions but additionally learns the true power of the mystic arts and a great evil that threatens the spiritual world.

The movie, directed by Scott Derrickson and produced by Kevin Feige, is adapted from the Marvel comic book of the same name. In the very first scene, we see how far special effects have come.  After evil sorcerers break into the sanctuary of Kamar-Taj and steal a ritual book, they are pursued by the guardian known as the Ancient One. The characters begin bending and twisting buildings and roads like origami, and the concept of reality is thrown to the ground.

The violent opening to Dr. Strange is reminiscent of the scene in “Inception” where the city flips on itself, except the city was actively swaying and adjusting to the character’s movements as the fighting continued. Special effects and how far they have come a long way since the City of Oz appeared in the background of the Yellow Brick Road in the “Wizard of Oz.”

In addition to the powerful display of special effects, an extremely solid cast was assembled to play the characters of Dr. Strange. Cumberbatch, is absolutely the right pick as Dr. Strange. In the film he adopts an American accent and fully expresses the narcissistic personality, which is challenged by his enemies throughout the film. Also cast in the film were Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton.  Swinton starred as the all-powerful Ancient One, and portrayed her with a  fire and passion. To round out the crazy world of mystics and sorcerers, McAdams plays Strange’s former love interest who lives a normal life as a surgeon and helps keep the film grounded in reality.  Together, the cast effectively creates the world of Dr. Strange and each contributes to the plot in a different, but interesting way.

With a runtime of almost two hours, Dr. Strange alters the perception of viewer and nudges imagination outside of its comfort zone. Grossing $571 million and delivering some of the best visuals ever seen in a movie, Dr. Strange pushes the boundary of special effect technology.